Friday, August 16, 2013

Session at Advanta India - 2 Questions

In a 2-hour session at Advanta India's supply chain conference last week, I shared a few of my thoughts. The buzz words for the conference were excellence, team work, ownership, speed in action and quality consciousness. It was a large group of 130 executives and they did a fine job of being involved through most of a highly soporific environment - post-lunch, dimly lit rooms, well air-conditioned and a distant speaker droning on, is not the best recipe I can understand. However,  I found a highly receptive audience that was quite proactive and pretty interactive as well.

The thoughts flowed in the following direction:

Is it possible to achieve our potential? 
The answer is possibly yes I suppose. Considering that  our potential hangs loose around us like elastic, we need to first inflate ourselves with enough value, work towards fulfilling our potential. This value only means work. Work with a purpose.

Take this visual of you with an inflatable limit. Right now it hangs loose because we are well within the limits we are capable of. our high points of achievement have since fallen and hence the loose elastic flopping around us.

To be on the growth path, we need to constantly challenge these limits of ours. What it means is this - 12 hours to 13 hours, 100 units to 120 units, 50 runs to 60 runs, 4 wickets to 5 wickets. Grow consciously so you are aware of pushing the limits. Then your current limit becomes apparent, becomes clearer and you soon challenge it.

At this moment, the loosely inflatable limit (visualise clothes) fits you well. You are also happy because you have now pushed a limit. Happiness meets growth. Wonderful.

In other words, the limit you have now is your 100%. When you push the limit, you have grown beyond your own preset limit. (Now this old limit could be mediocre compared to what others are achieving but crossing it means a lot to you so take it seriously.) Eg. You have previously achieved x target which is about a 10th of what everyone else is doing. But if you push your limit consciously and end up with x+4, you are good. You are on the way.

The good news with this 100% business, this growth and potential business is that the limit keeps stretching. As you push you grow, you strain until it fits perfectly. You are Superman, Supergirl, the hero, the diva. And the fit remains perfect as long as you keep pushing at it.
In other words constant and purposeful growth is the answer.

When will I know I have reached the limit?
Going past the smallest limit is a source of great happiness. Of personal joy. Of an achievement to share. That is the first sign. But after that, you need to constantly challenge yourself to grow, bit by bit. It is easy to find your own metrics of growth. Measure it by effort first. And then by results later.

There will come a time when you are constantly in a state of challenge, of awareness and aliveness,of feeling empowered and energised. That is the time when you are truly alive and at 100%. All the words will fall into place then - ownership, excellence,quality, speed in action, team work. It is not about us versus them - it suddenly becomes a collaborative venture where everyone is on win-win.

More in the next blog. There were several interesting questions that were put to me and I will share my thoughts on those.

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